Quick thoughts and takes on every Week 7 Big Ten game.
Purdue 40, Maryland 14
The Boilermakers were so overdue for something positive. They were due for a sharp performance, a little luck, and a plucky game where everything started to go right. Apparently, that’s what Maryland is for, with Jack Plummer lighting up the Terp secondary for 420 yards and three scores on a 33-of-41 day. Rondale Moore was still out, but Brycen Hopkins stepped up with ten catches, and David Bell caught 138 yards with of passes and scored twice.
Oh Maryland. The offense that looked like it had the scheme and the flash early in the season is sputtering and coughing. With Josh Jackson out, Tyrrell Pigrome wasn’t able to get the thing moving despite his 218 passing yards, 107 rushing yards, and a decent second quarter to get the team back in the game … right up until he threw a pick six.
That isn’t that for Maryland’s bowl hopes, but it’s a win it needed to have with a rough run ahead. Now the Terps have to win three games against Indiana, at Minnesota, Michigan, at Ohio State, Nebraska and Michigan State – that’s not going to happen with an O that’s struggling so much on third downs.
Purdue doesn’t quite have a bowl life again, but at 2-4, at least there’s a little bit of hope with winnable games against Illinois, Nebraska, Northwestern and Indiana to deal with. The O has to keep being as sharp as it was this week, but it’s not going to get the Maryland defense at Iowa next week.
Indiana 35, Rutgers 0
Indiana didn’t take pity on Rutgers, but it could’ve been a whole lot worse. Michael Penix was taking target practice, hitting 20-of-29 passes for 282 yards and three scores with a pick, and the Indiana running game got rolling with Stevie Scott tearing off 164 yards. This was over after a 21-0 first quarter lead.
Rutgers just doesn’t have any offensive playmakers. Johnny Langan only hit 5-of-13 passes for one yard. That’s had to do. The running game didn’t provide a lick of help, with just 74 yards led by Isaih Pacheco. The Scarlet Knights have been shut out in three of their last five games, and scored seven points last week against Maryland.
How bad was this total wipeout? IU outgained Rutgers 557 yards to 75. The Scarlet Knights missed on all 11 third down tries, and IU had the ball for over 36 minutes. Next week, it’s Minnesota’s turn at Rutgers, while Indiana at 4-2 should get a fifth win of the season against Maryland.